Everything you wanted to know about United Way California Capital Region and more, from fundraising methods to nonprofit affiliations.

Who is United Way California Capital Region?

Your local United Way is an independent local affiliate of United Way Worldwide, and we serve five counties: Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties. United Way harnesses the collective power to create region-wide impact.

For more than 90 years we have existed to improve people’s lives and build stronger communities in the capital area. We continue to be a backbone in the community, serving as a leader among nonprofits. As a collective impact organization, we don’t measure success by how much money we raise, but by how many lives are improved and whether the community is a better place to live. We do this through a combination of financial, programmatic and volunteer/event strategies focusing on Education, Financial Stability and health. We mobilize a crusade of of nonprofits, companies, government bodies and volunteers to give immediate aid and find lasting solutions for future generations.

 Since 1923, we have raised more than $400 million for the regional nonprofit community.

Who runs United Way California Capital Region?

Your local United Way is managed by a staff of 25 nonprofit professionals and is governed by a local board of directors that represent our community.

What do you do?

United Way has evolved from its roots as a fundraising organization to a critical community convener that mobilizes local partners, including businesses, community leaders, public officials, and community residents, to expand opportunities for people to succeed. These collaborations recognize the power of the collective: that organizations coming together around a common agenda – with shared goals, strategies, data, and guiding principles – are capable of achieving real and lasting population-level impact.
This is the collective impact model.

United Way of California Capital Region is working closely with community partners on a number of Education, Financial Stability, and Health initiatives.

We also are proud to partner with 140 certified health and human services nonprofit organizations who share our vision and who we work with to create stronger, healthier and more compassionate communities.

Can United Way provide me with medical, health or some other kind of assistance?

If you need non-emergency help, you should contact InfoLine at (916) 498-1000 or dial 211 if you’re in Sacramento County.

Why should I donate through United Way?

With a single donation to United Way, you can help numerous people, agencies and programs in your community. Giving to United Way is the most powerful way to give back locally. Your donation multiplies community impact combining your gift with others.

Also, community volunteers review and monitor our funded partners programs for effectiveness. Funding decisions are based on the performance and impact these agencies and programs have on community needs. We insure that your money is being spent wisely.

We offer two ways to donate to United Way:

1. Donate directly to United Way. Get to know our work here!

2. Give to your favorite nonprofit, whether or not it’s one of our certified nonprofit partners. Our only requirement is that it be a tax-exempt 501c3 organization in the United States.

We also offer payroll deduction, which gives you the chance to give a little at a time instead of one lump sum at the end of the year. It’s a win-win: By paying a little at a time, you actually give more in the long run, and nonprofits receive a steady stream of money without the costs of fundraising.

What are United Way’s projects?

Our STAR Readers project is helping kids in kindergarten through third grade read at grade level so they are more likely to graduate from high school. Already, 40% of our 693 STAR Readers are reading at grade level.

Our $en$e-Ability project is helping local families and foster youth build financial literacy so they can make sound financial decisions and increase their income. This project also helps foster youth earn money through matched savings accounts so they can be prepared when they leave the system. 88% of the adults in financial literacy coaching are showing improved financial skills and have savings accounts, and 90% of foster youth are earning money in their savings accounts.

Our Fit Kids project is helping kids learn and enjoy exercise and healthy food so they’ll be fit for life and avoid the complications of obesity. 82% of our 3,371 Fit Kids have improved on at least one their school Fitnessgram test that measures physical fitness.

How did you choose your projects?

We used a very data-driven process that included a multi-county needs assessment, multiple town hall and regional meetings and a blue-ribbon task force of community volunteers to decide on our areas of focus.

How does United Way help my community?

We were founded 90 years ago to improve people’s lives and build stronger communities in the capital area. Today, we are calling to action First Responders in our community with our “In Case of Need” campaign. Together, we are empowering households to become self-sufficient, help graduate every student from high school and provide and produce options for a healthier lifestyle.

How does United Way raise money?

We do often receive corporate donations, but the vast majority of the money we raise comes from individual donors who are committed to supporting United Way’s three projects.

Which local companies support United Way?

More than 400 local private and public sector companies and organizations support United Way through workplace giving campaigns.

Who is United Way’s CEO?

Stephanie R. McLemore Bray is a nonprofit professional with nearly 25 years of experience in fund development and volunteer management for local, regional and national organizations. Prior to taking this position she was the Executive Director of the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation, a supporting organization for San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.

What is the relationship between our local United Way and United Way Worldwide?

United Way Worldwide is the leadership and support organization for the nearly 1,800 local United Ways in 40 countries around the globe. Our United Way is a separately incorporated nonprofits with our own CEO and Boards of Directors.

How is United Way associated with the NFL?

United Way and the NFL have the longest running public service advertising campaign and sports/charity partnership of its kind. All NFL representatives appearing in United Way ads are volunteers who receive no compensation. The NFL pays for production costs and airtime. There is no cost to local United Ways for the spots.

Where does my money go?

You can choose to give to our United Way projects or Certified Nonprofit Partners, or you can give to any federally tax-exempt 501c3 organization in the U.S. We provide you with the data you need to make an informed choice, and you decide where your donations go.

What is United Way’s overhead?

Our current overhead is 20.28 percent.

Is United Way’s overhead higher than that of other nonprofits?

At 20.28 percent, we are well within the range organizations like the Better Business Bureau say is acceptable.

Does United Way charge a fee for giving to the nonprofit of my choice?

We do usually deduct a small amount (usually about 15%) from a gift before passing it on to a designated nonprofit. This covers our cost of raising the money and making sure it gets to where the donor wants it to go.

Why should I give through United Way and not directly to my favorite nonprofit?

With a single donation to United Way, you can help numerous people, agencies and programs in your community. Giving to United Way is the most powerful way to give back locally. Your donation multiplies community impact combining your gift with others.

What can I do if I feel I was forced to give to United Way through a workplace campaign?

Giving is a personal matter and decision; no form of coercion is acceptable to United Way.  We work with their campaign representatives to balance providing incentives with not making people feel coerced. If you have felt coerced during a United Way campaign, please contact us to ask questions and provide feedback.